Trading in Picanol shares resumed with a slight loss on Monday morning, following a two-week halt due to a large-scale ransomware attack. Whilst the attack caused serious disruptions, the West Flemish weaving machine manufacturer expects the financial impact to be largely limited to the cost of rebuilding IT systems. The lost production days will be made up in the coming weeks and months.
Picanol Falls Victim to Cyberattack
Picanol Group specializes in the development, production and sale of weaving machines and technology for the textile industry. The company is based in Belgium and has 14 production plants throughout Europe, Asia and the United States.
On Monday January 13, 2020, Picanol fell victim to a large-scale ransomware attack. Overnight, Chinese colleagues reported that they were unable to log onto several IT systems. Next, the company’s headquarters in Ypres, Belgium, as well as Picanol’s Romanian site experienced similar issues.
As the company’s entire production process is managed by computers, large segments of their production came to a standstill. In Belgium, 1,500 workers were put on technical leave. Trading in the company’s shares was suspended on Tuesday morning.
Activities Restart on a Step-by-Step Basis
Together with external experts, Picanol Group has made every effort to solve the attack and to minimize the impact on its activities and employees.
The relevant authorities have been advised of the ransomware attack and they also supported Picanol Group in solving the problems. Company representatives have made contact with the attackers but did not give in to any demands.
Whilst the attack caused a serious disruption of the group’s activities, Picanol managed to restart production activities on a step-by-step basis a week after the attack. Most departments were operational again by the beginning of this week.
Financial Impact of Ransomware Attack
As the investigation is still ongoing, Picanol Group is currently unable to disclose full details of the ransomware attack.
Communications director Frederic Dryhoel did say that lost production days will be made up in the coming weeks and months. Therefore, the financial impact of the attack will be largely limited to the costs of external experts who were called in to repair the IT systems. Picanol Group expects these costs to be less than 1 million euros.
Trading in Picanol shares resumed on Monday February 3, 2020, in consultation with the Belgian Financial Services and Markets Authority. At the start of trading, the shares of the West Flemish weaving machine builder were 1.5 percent lower than before the attack.